One of the most recent members of the CCRI research team is co-author of a new paper that has been published in the Journal of Environmental Management.

Nenia Micha joined the CCRI last year from Teagasc and it was during her time here she worked on the ‘HARMONY’ research project. High stAtus wateRbodies: Managing and Optimising Nutrients (HARMONY) was funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine under the STIMULUS fund. It was led by Teagasc Crops, Environment and Land Use Programme (CELUP) in Johnstown Castle, Wexford.

The project ran from 2016 to 2019 and included a bio-physical component where soil samples were taken from a number of farms and analysed to see how farm practices affect phosphorus runoff to water (2016-2017). There was also a socio-economic component where the cost-effectiveness of certain selected Phosphorus loss mitigation measures were also assessed and resulted in another co-authored paper by Nenia entitled ‘A participatory approach for comparing stakeholders’ evaluation of P loss mitigation options in a high ecological status river catchment’ came out of this part of the study. Nenia’s latest publication is the outcome from both the biophysical and economic components of the HARMONY project.

Nenia explains that “the EU Water Framework Directive requires all farmers to be responsible for their nutrient inputs to control Phosphorus runoff into rivers. However, farmers avoid implementing nutrient management plans (NMPs) on their farms because they perceive them as highly costly without obvious and effective results. With the research, we were hoping to explain to farmers that following an NMP is a ‘win-win’ in the long term despite high costs in the beginning, and suggest to policy makers solutions on how to deal with the high cost and perceived low effectiveness in the first years of implementation”.

The full reference for Nenia’s article can be found below:

Bragina, Lyubov, Evgenia, Micha , William, Roberts, Kay, O’Connell, Cathal, O’Donoghue, Mary, Ryan and Karen, Daly (2019) Spatial and temporal variability in costs and effectiveness in phosphorus loss mitigation at farm scale: A scenario analysis. Journal of Environmental Management, 245. pp. 330-337. ISSN 0301-4797

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